There’s no word about whether this is an official comeback, or merely a one-off.
But Canadian Sharon Fichman returned to the court Wednesday, in doubles at the $60,000 ITF event at Indian Harbour Beach.
She played doubles with American Jamie Loeb, against Sesil Karatantcheva and Mara Schmidt. And they won, 7-6 (4), 6-3 to advance to the quarterfinals.
Fichman is still only 27. She’s three weeks older than Milos Raonic, and two weeks older than countrywoman Rebecca Marino.
Marino, as we all know, returned to the court in February after a five-year retirement.
(We’ve reached out for an interview with Fichman. No response so far – she and Loeb were defeated by No. 4 seed Taylor Townsend and Ingrid Neel Friday, 6-4, 6-4)
Two years away
Her last match came in May, 2016, when she lost in the second round of qualifying at an ITF event in Trnava, Slovakia. Her singles ranking had fallen to No. 362 by then, as she dealt with a series of injuries.
Fichman’s last doubles match came two years ago last week, when she and the now-retired (and newly a mom) Jarmila Wolfe won the doubles at the $25,000 ITF tournament in Jackson, Mississippi.
Since then, she has completed some Tennis Canada coaching courses and worked with some of the Canadian juniors. As well, she has done some television commentary, and will be on the call for next week’s Fed Cup tie between Canada and Ukraine.
She’s dating Dylan Moscovitch, a figure skater who won a silver medal in 2014 in Sochi and retired, like, yesterday.
Fichman never officially announced her retirement. Nor did she retire for the purposes of the ITF’s anti-doping program, which would require reinstatement and a three-month period in the program before she would be allowed to return.
So there’s nothing stopping her from coming back.
Fichman reached career highs in singles (No. 77) and doubles (No. 48) in 2014, as she got super-fit and redlined her original, all-court game.
She qualified and made the second round at both Acapulco and Indian Wells, and was straight into the main draw at the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open. That year, she won a $100,000 ITF in Cagnes-sur-Mer, France in which she beat Yulia Putintseva, Johanna Konta, Tamira Paszek, Kiki Bertens and then Timea Bacsinszky in the final.
That’s an impressive week for anyone.
But then, the injuries started to get her.
The match was available here. Fichman and Loeb survived to fight another day.